Opinions on our kitchen layout - - in beach cottage

angela12345October 3, 2009

Like a lot of people, I have lurked a lot and sometimes posted over the last many years, although not much lately for various reasons. We are planning a beach cottage new construction and would appreciate thoughts on our kitchen design, please !!

It will be a rental, so typically guests will be there for 1 week at a time during June July August. During off season we will also be there sometimes (read: as often as we can!!). This home will sleep 23+ (up to 30 including pullout sofas and toddler trundles). The kitchen will need to accomodate a lot of different types of rental groups and sizes ... families with multiple generations, adult couples, all men (golfers), maybe weddings or church groups, etc. We feel like we really need to include 2 fridges and 2 dishwashers because of the need for it for groups this size and also to be competitive with other rental homes. Also, because of the potential size of groups that will be staying here, we will need LOTS of cabinet space ... dishes, silverware, glasses, cups, coffee mugs, etc for 30 people takes lots of space. Most likely, I won't be able to make any changes to the walls of the kitchen on this plan.

One thing I know I am missing is where to put trash, but please don't limit your comments to this ! I am thinking a pullout under one side of the sink. Considering a range something like the following but not necessarily this exact one http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/appliances/ranges/electric-ranges/FTQ353IWUX/XAA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail.

I have included a layout of the top floor below so you can see where the kitchen lies in relation to the other rooms. Comments on other parts of the floorplan are also welcome. The bottom floor will have 5 more bedrooms, laundry, and a morning coffee bar with sink and mini fridge.

Here is what we envision the wetbar/prep area looking like (except longer of course) ...


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My first reaction is two dishwashers and one dinky range? Does "beach cottage" mean hot in summer? Or is yours a chilly beach? I would think this would be a good place to have a separate cooktop and double ovens. That would allow one or two people to be cooking rice and veg on the cooktop, and another person or two to be putting the trays of chicken in one oven and the sides and pies in another. And would be less hot for the cook on a hot day. I think it would be worth losing the pantry for. And sliding the cooktop toward the pantry to make it a separate station from the sink.

I suggest this because family reunions really do cook, and the golfers might hire someone to cook for them. The two fridges is a good idea because some of the big groups will probably bring in catered or cooked ahead foil trays and plastic boxes of meals for three or four days, which take up a lot of fridge room. But heating them for 30 also takes a lot of oven room.

OTOH, a dishwasher can be emptied and then refilled and run again, at leisure. And disposables are an option. A second DW is a good thing, but it might fit better in the coffee bar area. It doesn't fit well where you have it, bumping into the other DW and the oven.

In fact, having a beverage/snack area with a small fridge, MW, coffee maker, and the plates and glasses to go with, could keep munchers out of the way of the cooking folks. It would really be worth loading up an outside of the kitchen secondary food station.

Because of the variety of users, many of whom won't hardly be cooking at all, the way you have the bar side of the kitchen set up works pretty well. It looks like a great place for assembly line plating, and other serving tasks, fairly out of the way of the cooking/heating/cleaning people. It would be worth having a fitted top for the small sink there so it can be more easily used as spare counterspace when desired. Good until someone loses it, anyway.

Regarding losing the pantry plus, for double ovens, you would still gain drawers under the cooktop for the pots, and keep the space above and below the ovens for storage. I cook for 30 regularly. I don't need the 2nd DW (I do understand about the comparative competition, which I why I suggested putting it at the alternative point of use), but I'd be heartbroken coming in to find just that dinky range.

I have a wall bed in my guest room (workout room/ironing room/gift wrapping room). Those are great if the mattress is comfy!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 12:42AM
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the kitchen looks really small and penned in to me if it's expected to accommodate 23+ people. Can you imagine even half that amount of people in that space? If the frig is open, no one could get past that peninsula. if there can't be any changes made to the size, i would lose the peninsula, move the clean up sink and 2 DW's to where the prep sink is, move the range to where the clean up sink is(can the window move) and then put the prep sink to the right of the refrigerators. At least then you'd have a separation of cooking and clean up. Right now, everything is squeezed into that corner. The DW's aren't even usable if someone is at the range because you couldn't get the doors down.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:48AM
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I do think its tight--the refrigerator vs. eat at counter is a bottleneck, and the wet bar being within the work triangle itself kind of defeats the purpose. Could you reconfigure the bathroom a bit and get the wet bar over there, completely out of the kitchen? If the bathroom door from the LR didnt split that wall into two, you could have a wet bar there, with a bit of tweaking. And in the LR itself, where it would get a lot of use and keep traffic out of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Darn Darn Darn !! When you put it that way, I think I was crazy to not already have the double ovens. I just wasn't thinking.

But also, I do not want to give up all of the pantry space. When we go on our annual beach trip, it always makes me so mad if the place we rent does not have ample storage room for my groceries (and I have been known to completely rearrange the cabinets to make extra grocery space, lol). Would this look weird ? ... what if we keep the range with the warming drawer but also add a single wall oven in the cabinet where the pantry is and have pantry storage above that oven ? (see pics below)

Unfortunately, there is not room for a DW in the coffee bar area on the bedroom level but there will be a sink down there. Also, we cannot move that kitchen window and do not have the ability to increase the square footage of the home. It is the max that we will be allowed to build under the rulings. We will have a "tiki bar" under the house with sink and *possibly* microwave/mini fridge, although that will depend on if they will allow the electrical items down there under bldg code. There will also be a picnic table, grilling area, and some games down there (horseshoes, pingpong, foosball, etc).

Interestingly, when we first started designing these plans a couple years ago, it was the suggestion of forum members to put the 2 dishwashers in the corner like that. In the thoughts that you would not usually if ever have both dishwashers open at the same time. However, at the time, the wetbar side of the kitchen was somewhat different and it evolved into how it is now. What do you think of leaving the DW beside the main sink, putting the corner dishwasher to the right of the prep sink, and making the corner into drawers where the dishwasher was ? This will allow someone to be at the stove and be out of range of the remaining DW beside the sink even when it is open. Would it be good to have 2 cleanup/dishwasher areas or bad that the 2 DW are separated ?

The refrigerator spacing was also based on recommendations on this forum and the forum FAQ. There is 42" between the fridge and the counter and these are standard 30" wide fridges. I had the peninsula there for 2 reasons ... it is the landing space for the fridge, and I really wanted at least a small eating counter there. It's nice to have a place for people to sit and chat with those working in the kitchen but still be out of the way. Also, we could use it as extra dining seating and a big open counter area for prepping.

My mom's house has 34.5 inches from edge of peninsula to fridge and I don't ever remember thinking it was a bad. If someone is in the way, they just close the fridge door for a moment to let the person by. On the other hand, in the beach cottage we stayed at a year ago, the 2 fridges were even closer than at my mom's and we both remarked that they seemed uncomfortably close. I wish I had measured it !! I would love to hear from people who have a single door fridge facing a counter/cabinet edge ... what clearance do you have and how do you feel about it ?

I would love to have the wetbar out of the kitchen, but have not been able to figure out a way to make it work. I would love to see your ideas on that bathroom. I played with it some, but could not figure a way to fit a wetbar in that area while still allowing it to function as a half bath with access from the living room and also access to the bath for bedroom 1. Even if I gave up the bookcase and the supply closet for the housekeeper I couldnt figure how to make it work.

Great idea about the fitted top for the prep sink !! I will definitely be including that.

plllog, you cook for 30 regularly ??? You poor thing !! LOL. It's just my hubby & I and we rarely cook (maybe 1 meal a week plus cereal in the mornings) and I often wish I had 2 dishwashers. : )

I just love the idea of Murphy beds and have soooo many pictures I have saved. Both sunroom and office are sofa/murphy beds, just move the cushions and lower the bed. A few other really cool ones I have seen are a Murphy bunk bed and also a desk with a Murphy bed over it and a desk that converted to a Murphy bed !

mahlgold, would half the people be in there at one time ? At our family gatherings on the various sides of my family and husband's family, usually only 2-4 people at most are in the kitchen. The husbands are sitting in the living room or outside, elderly are relaxing somewhere (as they should be!), the kids are off playing, even most of the younger women are not in the kitchen. It's not equal opportunity in our families ! But I don't know if other's family dynamics are different ? I was envisioning 3-5 ... 1 person at sink (with possibly 1 at dishwasher), 1 at range, 1 prepping or putting ice in glasses at the bar/prep sink, and for big groups, maybe 1 or more also working on the big open counter.

Full height pantry

Single oven with half pantry above

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 7:46PM
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I don't cook for 30 that regularly. Mostly just holidays--though with both sides it's more like 50. You couldn't fit our family reunion in your house. :)

Re the numbers in the kitchen, that's my experience too, more or less. And I don't think a little crowding, and a little protection from crowding offered by the peninsula is so bad. When there's a lot of pulling stuff out to put on the tables, etc., there could be bigger crowds, but your layout might actually control that by having a fridge monitor organizing items onto the peninsula and directing people to carry them to table, while directing others to prep/cook/warming tasks with the other bits. And I think the peninsula with not enough seating for people to take seriously, but a place for someone to help and kibbitz or to provide snacks for little kids who aren't allowed to walk off with them, is great.

But no to this configuration. The 24" oven is a problem unless you can find an old fashioned big one, and the MW over the stove is a big no-no, especially when you have so many people unfamiliar with the kitchen coming through. An alternative arrangement might be a bigger range--except I don't know if there is a 48" electric range! They all seem to be dual fuel. The general idea of the lower spare oven is a good one, but it might have to be at the sacrifice of some drawers.

The MW should be in a place that's way out of the cooking area so the warmer-uppers aren't under foot. I'd put it under the peninsula. Or even on the counter where the peninsula meets the wall. You can do one of those slimline slide out hoods like Fori has over the stove.

If you can fit the second DW by the prep sink, I know I'd like it better. Put on the cleanup sink side of the small sink, it's not really too far a stretch for a second unit. The reason both are opened at once, is the reason you need two to begin with: One is out of room for the last big salad bowl and the other doesn't have room for more coffee cups. Getting it all in means balancing. Ideally, you'd flank the sink with the two DW's. Having them both in a row would work. Having them at competing angles doesn't. You could still open most of the drawers on the angle with the DW open.

I get what you mean about having somewhere to put away the groceries, but it's a pretty small kitchen and something's got to give. If it's the second DW, so be it. Or get really clever with the drawers. For instance, you could add a little bit of vertical space if you put a silverware or utensil pullout inside of a deeper drawer (plates or pots0 below it. Since cramming dishes in is a priority, it might be worth it.

I don't know if your rendering is just to show the oven possibility, or accurate, because one thing you can do is take the cabinets to the ceiling for your own stuff, extra paper goods and stuff like that.

I'd definitely sacrifice the bookcase for the wet bar. Is there a reason the elevator is notched in? Is that for the equipment, or some other requirement?

You're calling the front bedroom the "master" but it's not very big. Can it live without the direct access to the bathroom? Considering that's the only bathroom on the dining/lounging level it's going to be grand central in there anyway. I keep feeling like I want to section off a corner of the deck for a little bathroom just for the bedroom. Is that even thinkable?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:44PM
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I'm certainly no expert, but I do have a few comments.

Generally speaking, the most used space in the kitchen is that between the range and the sink. In this layout, that would be one very busy place with the dishwashers right there. I also see that space between the peninsula and the fridge being a big traffic jam.

We rent cottages/cabins several times a year, although we've rented more in the mountains than on the coast. Whether it's just our family or extended family, typically 3 meals a day and snacks are made in the kitchen. Depending on how long we're there, we may eat one or maybe two dinners out, but that's it. Several of our friends rent beach cottages regularly, and they cook most meals in. However, most of the dinners involve grilling something, and I'm not sure in your layout where the BBQ is or how to get to it. I see the deck but not the access to it. That would be a huge thing for me, particularly at the beach.

Also, just as an aside, we have friends who have had a family beach house for years and last year started renting it out. As a rental property, with the accompanying tax benefits, the owners can only occupy the property for 14 total days per year. I'm a happy vacation renter and have never looked into it myself, but if you're planning on spending a lot of time in the cottage during the "off" season, you may want to contact a professional if you haven't already.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Here is a bathroom drawn to 1/4" scale based upon your drawing and some guesses as to sizes by using your dimensions and a bathroom fixture template.

I left the shower and maid's closet where it is, but turned the toilet, and the sink would have to be a small pedestal. -- On the outer wall I have a 24" undercounter fridge, a 15" icemaker and a 24" sink base, roughly. With a little ingenuity and the right sink, you could have a better vanity in the bath.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:33PM
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With this wetbar space taken out of the kitchen, perhaps the second sink and dishwasher go over there, and you can put an under counter oven there as well. You could do a wider cooktop in the current location with an undercounter oven rather than a range, or have a two burner cooktop over on the former wet bar as well.

If it seems kind of extreme getting a Sink DW Oven and small cooktop in that small run of cabinets, this type of thing is done in Manhattan apts a lot.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:39PM
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Such as:

And that bathroom may lay out even more compactly with the shower at the back and the toilet and sink facing each other. You may not be able to have a swinging door enclosure, it may need to be a sliding shower door or curtain. Curtain may be better in rental anyway.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:51PM
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True about the door vs. shower curtain. You don't want drunks falling through your shower door. It's a lot easier and cheaper to replace a curtain.

Kudos to Palimpsest for making that work!

I'm thinking it would be better, with the bar gone, to keep that side of the kitchen for dishes and storage. There might be enough room there now for the pantry, and to put 27" or 30" DO next to the fridges. An oven stack is so much more pleasant to use than under counter ovens, whether they be range ovens, or even worse, separate units. DO's cost less too, I think. Don't they?

I wouldn't do the second cooking module. That counter space where the bar was could be great for a slow cooker, electric skillet for pancakes, or other small appliances, but because of traffic, I think it would be better to keep a cooking side and a prep/serving side.

BTW, for actual book storage, if you want to have them for the company to read, there are things like rortating shelf end tables that pull double duty. Check levenger.com and similar sources.

Putting beverage service outside of the kitchen is so great!

A question for the experts: Is it possible to put a single drawer dishwasher under a bar sink?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:06PM
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Here is a better vanity. Its a small bathroom but efficient...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:14PM
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the changes in the bathroom should help a lot! also adding a 2nd dw.

how about a round end for the peninsula? or at least an oval so no one runs into those corners. It would also open up the walk way there. Good place for dirty dishes to land (prior to being loaded into 2nd dw)coming back from dining area.

groceries can also be kept in drawers. the base cab to left of range could be considered extra grocery storage to replace that used for the WO.

taking uppers higher would also give more storage area.

Is there a washer/dryer in the house?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:53PM
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In the last drawing the toilet is too close to the countertop, that is a mistake. It should be 15"-18" on center, minimum from the obstruction, not 12" --sorry.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:58PM
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Wow, thanks everyone !! That's a lot to take in. I will have a more detailed response tonight after work, but have a few questions ...

But no to this configuration. The 24" oven is a problem unless you can find an old fashioned big one, and the MW over the stove is a big no-no, especially when you have so many people unfamiliar with the kitchen coming through.
1. What do you mean by this ? Are you saying it's hard to find 24" wall ovens, or that you can find them but they make them too small nowadays and the old way they were made was bigger ? Or are you thinking that the range in the rendering above is 24" (its not, its standard 30"). Or are you saying, it needs to be a wider built in oven ... like 27" or 30" because 24" ovens are too small and I would need to give up a little bit of the drawer space between the oven and the cooktop ?

2. Why are MW over the stove a big no-no ? I rarely see them in houses anywhere else other than over the stove.

3. How high should cabinets be ? My plan has 42" uppers. Once I get past 42" do they become substantially more expensive because I am getting out of standard sizes ? Can you even use that high up space ?

4. The leg on the current layout from stove to sink is 6 feet. How much should it be ? Also, although potentially this house may have large groups in it, we also need to remember that sometimes it may have smallish groups as well and sometimes be only the 2 of us.

5. WO is wall oven ?

Through the wonders of cut & paste, I created a mockup of what the cooking wall could look like (you have to imagine that fridge is 2 single fridges). Thanks to this original picture ...

Anyone know who makes this double oven stove ?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 12:14PM
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I have the Maytag Gemini which is a double oven range similar to the one in your photo.

DH and I have rented homes on OBX for the past five years with approx 18 people. FYI hereÂs what we look for when picking out our weekly vacation house at the beach:

Sorry, but your kitchen is too small for 18 people.
What we look for in a kitchen besides the size is: 2 large refrigerators, ice maker, 2 ovens, 2 DW, 6 burner stovetop and bar seating for at least 6-8 people. What about getting rid of the sunroom and opening up that wall to make a larger kitchen?

Something that would also bother our group is the fact that the MBr bath, also doubles as a group bathroom for the living space on that floor. Any way to add a ½ bath to that floor and keep the master bath private?

Do the five bedrooms on the other floor all have master baths? Bathrooms are very important to our group. No one likes to share a bathroom with another couple/family.

Other must haves for our group is a pool, hot tub and gas grill.

This is just my opinion on what I have experienced in picking out an ocean vacation home to rent. I do not mean to offend. I only wish to give you some thoughts from a renters point of view, that may help you in building your dream vacation home. Good luck. I look forward to seeing your progress.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 1:42PM
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For a kitchen of that size to accomodate so many people, I think the applicances are of prime importance. Namely, two ovens, larger cooktop (36"), and a regular hood with ventillation for both from/rear burners in additon to the double refrigerator and double dishwashers. You will also require plenty of open counter space to accomodate the needs of multiple cooks.

If the pantry is just for you, I'd get rid of the pensinsula and in the lower right corner, put in a closet pantry which you can store all your stuff in one place and put a lock on it to keep the renters out and then use all the of kitchen cabinets for shared supplies. This will be much cheaper than purchasing a pantry cabinet and you can store items in bulk there without worry they will be consumed by the renters. You could consolate your broom closet there as well to make up for the space lost for the larger appliances.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I like your first bathroom palimpset.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:53PM
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A beach house is going to be a compromise between capacity and footprint.

A beach house that accommodates 20+ for sleeping (and eating) should not be expected to have the same space and accomodations as a full time residence for 20, unless its the mansion. The kitchen and baths are going to be small, and if people are going to feel constricted in the kitchen, my honest opinion is that perhaps they should pay more rent per couple and try to cram less people in.

My great grandparents house at the shore was larger than their city house, which was completely closed up except for greatgrandfather's bedroom. The cook and housekeeper went with the family and GGF ate "in the city" and took the train down on Friday. That lifestyle lasted one generation in my family and my mothers family spent time at the shore crammed into dormitory-style bedrooms in tiny cape cods.

Somewhere along the line people started to expect all the accomodations of the big 19th century house on the footprint of the small 20th century one.

This particular house seems to be well-laid out for its purpose of accomodating various groups of people for sleeping and hanging out, larger bathrooms and kitchen would take away space from that. I think the renters may have to "rough it" a bit by actually having bodily contact with each other and sharing bathrooms 8[] on occasion:)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 6:13PM
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"if people are going to feel constricted in the kitchen, my honest opinion is that perhaps they should pay more rent per couple and try to cram less people in. "


We have many talented folks here, but I am skeptical that anyone will pull a hat out of this rabbit. Maybe I live the wrong kind of lifestyle, but when I think of cooking for large groups while on vacation, I think of outdoor gas grills, microwaves and a large indoor griddle for scrambled eggs and bacon -- not full gourmet meals and piles of dishes. Doesn't Mom get a vacation, too?

MY first concern for a group that big would be if there's enough hot water.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 6:38PM
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I think of *going *out to eat on vacation. I would want cooking to be at a minimum, get in the kitchen, throw it together and get out. I think the double fridge for storage and the double DW is key--but I would hope the occupants would be more interested in hanging out than cooking elaborately. The square footage of the kitchen plan should be good for a vacation place I would hope. Maybe I have low expectations for a vacation place. The one shown here seems to be very commodious and adaptable to me...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I'm finding several architectural problems with this particular layout.

A) Master bath is shared with the entire floor
B) There is a broom closet and a Maid's Closet. Are any items, such as linens, that will be stored in the MC in addition to the obvious cleaning supplies/vacuum? Is there a Laundry Room where the linens could be stored instead? This could leave the broom closet for brooms/cleaning supplies and open up the Maid's Closet for the ice maker/and or prep sink and making that a wet bar? Also, see C below...
C) Is the bookshelf a necessity? Could that area be used to add square footage to the bath (as palimpsest suggested in the 1st rendering? That wall for linens could be full height, with one area locked as an owners closet/locked linen closet)?
D) Are the Office and Sunroom necessities? Could you borrow some room from one or both of them? It seems that space from the SR could be better utilized as an extension of the Kitchen and the space of the Office used as an area for a half bath so that the Master Bath isn't open for visitors to use?
E) The DWs in the corner are not going to be multi-user-friendly, especially if kids are helping to clean up (I can hear the moaning now, "Mom, he's in my way" ;) ). I would move the sink and DWs to the wall where the icemaker is now, having the sink flanked by the DWs, or add 2-4 dish drawers. The prep sink can be where the main sink is now.

I would also suggest a Double Oven/Cooktop for the kitchen for all of the reasons stated above. At our beach house (also in NC. Woo, NC!) we can sleep only 15, but we often cook for 5-40. We have a double oven/microwave combo (a life saver) and an island cooktop. The drinks are made at the wet bar (a former guest closet housed in the Great Room) by the men, and meals are cooked in the kitchen.

Also, as a renter, I would not want only one bathroom that would be shared by me (a master bath user) and any stragglers that crashed on one of the couches or in the office or sunroom. I think that a second half or full bath would be far more appreciated by potential renters than extra room for more bodies that need to shower/have "alone" time ;)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:19PM
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Is there a possibility of getting a private shower outside on the deck? Is there an area underneath the house that is designed to break away in a hurricane? Could an extra shower be placed here?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:32PM
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palimpsest Is there a possibility of getting a private shower outside on the deck? Is there an area underneath the house that is designed to break away in a hurricane? Could an extra shower be placed here?

Excellent question. I have used our actual "master bath shower" twice in the last 15 years (and that's a big "maybe") as I always use the outdoor shower that's located under the house. I still think that a half bath, at least, would be ideal on that floor, though.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:44PM
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Real quick reply to Barb and a couple other's questions ... (I haven't forgotten all you other people, but your answers just take longer!! LOL.)

In a previous version, we had a half bath also on the top floor and BR1 bath was private, but did away with that in favor of the elevator. We have what is called a reverse floorplan ... the living area shown here is the top floor, the middle floor is bedrooms, and the ground floor is parking etc under the house. Because the living area is 2 flights up, many many people had recommended an elevator and it does also help rentals at the beach and opens the home up for people with special needs like elderly or wheelchair bound (or people who plain don't want to carry groceries up 2 flights of stairs). If you were getting this house for your group, and could pick either extra 1/2 bath -or- elevator, what would your group pick ? Anyone else ... feel free to chime in here, we love opinions !!

One of the reasons the elevator is notched is that it cut 16 square feet without any difference to the use of the home. We are maxed out on the sq.ft. we will be allowed to build. Also, the air units will be in the indention (instead of exposed on the side of the house) which will partially help protect them from the salt spray.

As far as other baths ... the bedroom level has 5 bedrooms and 4 baths (also laundry with 2 washers/dryers and a small coffee bar). 3 baths are private to their 3 bedrooms. The final bath is sort of a Hollywood bath ... there are 2 antechambers with private sinks and in between is the room with toilet and shower. 1 bedroom has direct access to their vanity from their bedroom. The final bedroom will have to walk 4 feet (past the door to the elevator) to access their vanity area. I didn't notice once we changed to elevator that BR1 was still labelled master. Technically it isn't (although it will be the one we use when there alone, so maybe it is "the master"). We do have 2 more real masters downstairs. There will also be a hot/cold enclosed shower on ground level. I learned something new ... did you know there are a LOT of people who NEVER take an inside shower when they stay at the beach ? They always use the outside one and won't stay in a house that does not have one !!

Maids closet was to be locked and house the cleaning supplies along with extra dishes, blender, etc. Owners cabinet under eating bar would be for us to keep food we don't want to leave out between trips. We do have a full size owners closet downstairs though. Our idea for the office would be multi-purpose and also be where the XBox would be for the kids. Or am I showing my age? Does anyone play XBox anymore or is it just Wii ?

We will not be allowed to have a pool on our property. Other than the "reaaaallly big pool" (we are oceanfront *grin*). But we will have an outside hot tub, whirlpool in one of the master baths, steam shower in one master bath (maybe in two), grill, fireplace, hammock, big screen tv, and many many other ammenities. We are also trying to decide on a dry sauna. We don't think it would be used much in summer, but like the fireplace, would be great for off season rentals.

We are leaning towards charcoal grill (but a nice big built in one) ... because ... there is no natural gas on the island and if it was propane grill, would we be responsible for providing renters with propane tanks and what if renters ran out of gas during the week ? Thoughts on that ? It is a law that no grilling is allowed on the decks. There are 3 ways to get from the top floor to the ground floor ... from inside staircase down 2 flights of stairs, by elevator, or from top deck there is a spiral stair that takes you to middle deck and then a regular stair that takes you to ground.

On our island, every single ocean front rental home is pretty much rented every single peak season summer week. If it comes down to it, and I have to give up something in our plans in favor of something else better , then I am ok with it, and it really will not affect our rentals. However, I do want to include every detail that I am able to for the comfort and convenience of our guests.

palimpsest sums up what we are trying to accomplish so well !! Also, most of the bedrooms are fairly small, but we figure very little time is spent in the bedrooms when you are at the beach ! We have concentrated on having a variety of family areas where people can break off into groups and making them as spacious as possible. We have been working on our plans and making lists for 4 years tweaking and improving and are finally about a month away from applying for our building permit. Yaaaay !! We would revisit the plans about once a month to see if we could find anything to change looking at it fresh and it is very different from where we started thanks to many great suggestions. Sometimes we would have to give up some things we liked to be able to have something else we liked or someone suggested. Sometimes it was just moving a wall or a door 2 inches or the dishwasher to the other side of the kitchen * : ) * which would make it more livable & friendly. That has really been our focus when designing ... each area big enough and laid out to the peak of it's potential, but not one inch too big or wasted space.

P.S. alabamanicole, you sound like you vacation like we do ... we are all about sandwiches for lunch and going out for dinner or having it delivered. If we want gourmet, Causeway Gourmet DOES deliver !!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:48PM
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1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 >

note : option #5 requires a slimmer shower

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:21PM
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Our group requires both an elevator and a half bath on the livingroom level. If we had to pick one, we would pick the ½ bath. We already booked our beach house for Summer 2010 on OBX and we did not pick one of the houses because it did not have an elevator.

We dont gourmet cook at all! Its sandwiches for lunch on the beach and pizza for dinner most nights. We still find that we need a decent kitchen with the amenities that Ive mentioned. Weve had less equipped kitchens when we first started renting, and found that we kept bumping into each other and running out of refrigerator room for the beer! A kitchen with one refrigerator would be a dealbreaker for us. We also have gas grills provided at most homes, although we have rented them in the past.

No pool? Do other oceanfront homes in your community have pools? We dont care about how small bedrooms are. Just that there are enough bathrooms for everyone.

Everyone has different wants and needs in an oceanfront vacation home. What's good for our group may not be good for another! As long as your home is rented out all season, that's what really matters.

Your are very fortunate that you are able to have such a wonderful vacation home! I have been enjoying this thread and can't wait to see the finished house! Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 9:33AM
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Yes, we are thrilled about this home too. We have worked so long & hard to be able to get the lot and then to get into a position where we could build. I feel like the kid in the commercial going to Disney World ... I'm too excited to sleep !

71% of the homes have less bathrooms than the number of bedrooms (32% have 1 less bath, 39% have 2 or 3 less baths i.e. 6 bedroom house has 3 baths)

Only 30% of the oceanfront homes have a pool. I do not remember when I researched if they all had a private pool, or possibly some of those I marked as having a pool because they have access to a public pool. It was a couple years ago when I compiled the numbers.

I know this home has to have some give & take. We just have to do the best we can do under our limitations. : )

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 1:53PM
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We've rented beach houses (in NC too, must be very popular, LOL). We all have small children so we cook most meals at the house. It saves all of our sanity to not have to get the kids out of the ocean and/or hot tub, dressed and then wait for our table to be called at a restaurant. So we use the kitchen a lot! I bring a griddle because breakfast is much easier if you can cook all the food at once. If you supply one I'm sure it would be appreciated. Your kitchen seems OK except for the DW placement. I would get those out from between the sink and stove. We usually have a couple people cooking while someone else empties the DW to get ready for the next meal. I actually think the wet bar in the kitchen area is fine. It can double as a secondary prep area and it's convenient to the fridge for those mixers. If it were my kitchen on vacation, I would move the ice maker to the peninsula, bar sink to the corner, a DW where the icemaker is. Ditch the shallow cabinets to the right of the main sink and move the other DW to the right of the sink. That gives space for two people at the stove and/or two people at the main sink. For us I wouldn't say anything is a must in the kitchen as long as it's got a fridge, stove and a sink, it's only a week. We're more about location.

A bookcase is nice, but not really needed on vacation. We usually bring our own books. Having some games would be nice too. One place we stayed had a foosball table that we all loved! The guys loved the basketball hoop too.

Another must for us is an outdoor shower for DH and bunk beds and a hot tub for my DD's. For me watching the waves roll in at night after the kids go to bed is my favorite.

Good luck a beach house sounds so exciting!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 2:40PM
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griddle . . . . . . or . . . . . . . electric griddle ?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 4:19PM
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I bring my cast iron two burner griddle, but an electric one would free up the stove for potatos or eggs.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 4:32PM
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Are the Office and Sunroom necessities? Could you borrow some room from one or both of them? It seems that space from the SR could be better utilized as an extension of the Kitchen and the space of the Office used as an area for a half bath so that the Master Bath isn't open for visitors to use?

This summed up my thoughts completely. You could have a much, much roomier and more comfortable kitchen by stealing room from the sunroom.

I picture a nice, big island with lots of seating and room for spreading out sandwich fixins or a buffet dinner. The fridges could be over on the wall next to the stairs, and you'd have plenty of room for two DWs and a bigger range with multiple ovens.

I also think using part of that space for another bath (even a half bath) would be worth much more than one more bedroom in a house that has so many others.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:30PM
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I think there is some validity in having rooms that can be closed off and used separately without having to go and sit on your bed. Particularly the office. The rest of the public spaces are very open and communal. I am sure there will be people who need to be away from everyone else at various points whether to work, or do something that is not the same as what is going on out in the LR/DR.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:45PM
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It just seems like 20-something people would be more comfortable in a place with a larger kitchen--something like this?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:31PM
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I haven't read every bit of today's conversation, but I have to say something about the size of the kitchen.

It's FINE.

I have plenty of experience cooking for 25-50 people, in a smaller kitchen proper (about the same including adjacent space) with 2-3 ovens, one microwave, a full sized fridge and full sized freezer, with separate beverage fridge, one sink, one bar sink, and one dishwasher. Since we're talking about a weekend's worth of meals, and less need to hold frozen, swap fridge and freezer for two fridges with freezer compartments and separate ice maker. Add another DW.

This kitchen even has a good plating station. The more I think about it, your range plus double ovens might be better if there's any winter traffic (whole turkey or ham, baked potatoes, hot casseroles). Another option, though harder to explain to renters would be a portable, countertop oven.

While there are plenty of the go outers in the world, and the dozen golf guys might be that, as was mentioned up topic, a lot of family reunioners cook. They put their money into the house and getting there, and they don't want to deal with the logistics of ferrying everyone to a restaurant, getting all their orders in a compact amount or time, etc., and separating for meals defeats a lot of the purpose.

My friends who do the beach house thing also prepare all their meals. They do a lot of cold breakfasts and make your own sandwich lunches, and pre-cook and reheat the dinners, sometimes, but they still need kitchens. And "kitchens" means fridges and ovens more than anything else. And knives.

So to your questions about what I said about ovens. Yes, I mean that nowadays 24" ovens are smaller inside than they used to be, and 27"/30" ovens are the size inside that the 24" ones were. 27", unfortunately, seems to be on its way out. It seems to me that 30" is becoming standard, with 24" being made mostly for retrofitting into older cabinets. I really, really advise you to get the 30" double ovens.

I know you like having the pantry, but I think it's the least necessary thing for the guests. Can you squeeze a cupboard in somewhere near the kitchen, like in the dining room, near the sunroom door, for a china cabinet, to get some of the dishes out of the kitchen? That way you could use some of the space you've allotted to dish storage to pantry/bring your own stuff storage. Along with moving the bar out of the kitchen, including a lot of the glasses, this should allow you to get the appliances you want into the kitchen.

Moving out the dish and glass storage also makes beverage service and table setting that much easier, and keep little helpers out of the kitchen proper.

Unlike some of the messages I saw up thread, I think the sunroom and office that double as bedrooms is very clever, because they're really bedrooms that double as a sunroom and an office when it's being a family home.

But I have to agree on the bathroom situation. You really do need another bathroom or two on the living level. Your DR seats more than a dozen people with only one throne? And when you have two people in the bedroom, two in the sunroom, two in the office, and four in the pullouts, where are they going to brush their teeth or get up to go pee? I think you need the bathroom you have, plus section off a piece of the right side of the deck for a small 3/4 private bath for the master. Then you could loose the second door to the bigger bathroom, and have a double vanity. I don't know where it could be, but add another powder room, and this might be livable.

OTR microwaves are no-no's because they don't pull enough of the fumes out, especially when one is cooking spaghetti sauce for 30 people, or searing meat for stew for 20, or whatever. They're dangerous because you have to reach over hot pots that can be steaming without being visibly that hot, and you can get scalded. Things in the MW can feel touchable but be much hotter when gripped. The angle for lifting things down has one with extended arms so is difficult for lifting heavy things anyway. So there's a lot of danger of dropping and/or spattering if the vessel is burning hot after all. Etc. In ordinary homes the MW is often used when the stove isn't. Not so for your setup.

Do some searching on the threads and you'll find some topics about putting upper storage to the ceiling above standard cabinets (the very top gets filled with trim). It's storage that you can't get to without a stepladder, but would be good for things you want to leave, or for special things like that portable oven I mentioned.

I think you did a great job on the cut and paste. Yes, the configuration you did would work. It's not the prettiest, and I'd prefer to see standard height double ovens, but it'll work.

I couldn't find "WO" in the thread. "DO" is double ovens, so yes, wall ovens.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 12:40AM
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I also like the plan as is but since there are a lot of suggestions about a powder room, what if there was a powder room where the sunroom is, the dining room shifted up a bit into the remainder of that space, and the eating porch became the sunroom, with the sleeping options?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:33AM
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I have been searching the internet ... are microwaves available to buy that will fit in a 12" deep upper cabinet ? Would I even want one of those ? It seems awfully shallow to me. The interior would be tiny, wouldn't it ? What about a 15" deep upper cabinet fit ?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:43AM
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I think the frig door bottleneck is problem, if you can think how to open that up. The frig will get a big workout and right now, someone gazing into it will block the kitchen. Depends on if you expect one or 2 persons to rustle up meals for all, or if you expect folks to want to get their own drinks, pop something in the micro. So a more open zonal plan could be good. Any interest in a drink frig separate from the food frig?

OTOH, the kitchen can't be all things to all groups.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Here are the shallowest I could find. I have the GE Spacemaker and the cavity is pretty large, but its a microwave for a couple people, not a crowd.

I am not recommending this vendor, in particular, but they have good search options, by dimension, etc.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Sorry I forgot the link

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:33AM
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I agree that a full sized MW would be more useful. That's another thing against the OTR, but that's individual desires, not saftey. A lot of people prefer to cook vegetables in the microwave, for instance, so include big pyrex covered casseroles in the pots. That's how we do green beans for 25.

If it were for your own use, I'd say get an Advantium to stack with a second oven, which could function as either a third oven or a large microwave, but there's a goodly learning curve and you don't want to trust guests coming in to figure out how to use it. Much better things that turn on and off very simply.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Ooooooh !! Bookmarking that website. Awesome search features ! You have been sooooooo helpful. And your layouts have inspired me to see things differently that I had come to a mind-block on. The bad news is that I have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning 2 nights in a row playing with different design options. Too bad I don't have much time for it during the day. Darn work gets in my way.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:52AM
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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I have a couple observations about "maximum capacity" when it comes to rental properties. I do not have a beach house but know and deal with a number of people who do.

I would be rather wary of renters who want to fill the house to maximum capacity. They are probably vacationing at the very top or over their budget. I am not sure that they are going to be concerned about the amenity of "personal space".

An acquaintance of mine said she stopped renting her house to larger groups because they "Came in acting as if they were used to no less than the Ritz-Carlton and left it looking like the Motel-6 after the crack-wh*res checked out."

I client of mine recently bought a house on the agreement that she would honor the rentals (some agreements made almost a year before). From one large group in particular, she received irate phone calls because there was a lightbulb burnt out, and there was "dog hair EVERY where"
(Her dog had been there overnight when she cleaned the house.)She had the housecleaner go back and re-vacuum, and the housecleaner showed them the canister and said "There really wasnt very much at all, so if you are allergic, I wouldnt worry" Well they didn't need any "smart-mouthing from a *house keeper!" (Who happens to be a college instructor in the regular semester). By the end of the week they had broken a faucet, which they let run, pushed two screens out of the windows --which they hid in the attic with a bag of trash that was their responsibility to take off-shore. The neighbor said their behavior had been horrendous. In contrast, the smaller groups of people, who paid more per couple, were problem free.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I agree with much of what pllog said--including ditching the pantry. Having the extra counter space for prepping and plating would be more impt. Also agree about having more frig vs. freezer space. Double ovens plus an outdoor grill should be adequate. I also would advise against the Advantium given the rental status--it can be a bit complex to use if you are not familiar with it and greater risk of renters using improperly. The GE Spacemaker is a pretty good little microwave and can even fit in a 8.5x11 casserole dish. Should be fine for the renters.

I also agree about the need for another bath on the main floor. If needed you can even carve out space for the maid's closet in the garage or take some space from a bedroom closet since most renters won't need a full closet.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 12:29PM
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A thing I thought about last night was with a hot tub, you may want to brace yourself for A LOT of sand to get in sometimes. We are careful to rinse off our kids (and us too) before they go into the tub, but alas by the end of the week, there is quite a bit of sand at the bottom. I don't know if there is anything out there, but we would have liked some way to clean up the sand somehow. DH made a makeshift sand vacuum with a hose filled with water which helped, but something with a bit more umph would have been nice.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 1:33PM
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UPDATE . . .

Sorry I have been so long getting back. Been sooooo busy ! But I have put a lot of thought into what has been said. I know this thread is getting long. For those just joining us, if you don't want to read everyone's comments please be sure to read all of mine at least. I have explained a lot of things about the home in other postings.

OK ... so now DH who was originally all about having a wetbar for the upstairs is giving me a veto on moving the wetbar out of the kitchen. Here is his main (and most reasonable) reason, but he does have others as well ... The wetbar will have sink & ice & fridge but no dishwasher, so where will the glasses & cups be stored ? If stored in the kitchen, they will all have to be toted to the wetbar to fill with ice and make drinks. If stored at the wetbar, they will be carried to DW in kitchen and then toted to the wetbar for storage. He also does not like the mini fridge there. We will already have 2 full-size fridges 12 feet away at the kitchen which he says is redundant. We will also have a mini fridge on each of the other 2 floors. He says we do not need more than 4 fridges. LOL !!

However, thanks to palimpsest's BRILLIANT designs, it allowed me to think differently on the layout for the master bath. I have tweaked the plan and it now includes the master bath being private to the bedroom, a half bath, the maid closet (bigger actually), the bookcase (moved), and also we get to keep the elevator !!!!!!! Basically, putting a half bath where she had made room for the wetbar. Yay !

I am posting a pic of the new changes and would love comments. Here are my thoughts on how it would work ... the DW on the main sink side of the prep sink* allows it to be reached from both sinks when necessary and gives 2 cleanup areas for after meals. We would use the cabinets above prep area for all dishes and cups in 6'9" of uppers. Peninsula and both sides of prep sink area could be used for people helping prep before dinner and keeping those people out of the way of cleaning/heating/cooking people on other side of kitchen. There will be a fitted top for the prep sink so it can be used as extra counterspace when desired. Once dinner was close to ready, one person could be there putting dishes out onto peninsula to be placed at table or food could be plated and put onto peninsula from there. Helpers in the dining area would grab plates from the stool side of the peninsula. Another person could be to left of ice maker putting ice into glasses which could be transferred to peninsula. After dinner, dirty dishes would go in prep sink dishwasher and be easy to put away from there. Silverware, tupperware, and serving bowls/platters go in drawers under peninsula. (*for groups that are into drinking and not cooking, we can call the prep area the wetbar : )

Pots/pans/cooking utensils would be stored in drawers next to range. Bowls, pyrex dishes, baking dishes, etc would be in the uppers there. Those kind of items could go in dishwasher beside main sink and be easy to put away from there. Small appliances go in the shallow cabinets to the right of the main sink.

Pantry, microwave, range (or cooktop & under counter oven), and 2nd oven configuration will be more exactly decided when picking out those appliances, but that wall gives the general idea. Agree with Advantium being too complex probably for most renters. One thing I do not want to give up is the pantry cabinet space. I remember my mom having to keep food in an upper cabinet when I was a kid and it sucked ! She later converted the coat closet to a pantry and I have never owned a home without one since. I was not kidding when I said I have gone to rental cottages and rearranged the cabinets, lol. I don't want to sit my groceries out on the counter or cram stuff behind each other in one upper cabinet. I like to see each item out front with nothing in front of it. And 20-30 people would have a lot of pantry items too ... not everything goes in the fridges. I am ok with a half height pantry though. I envision either pullout shelves or better I think would be half depth shelves inside the pantry cabinet along with half depth shelves on the door. Something like this ... http://jdorganizer.blogspot.com/2009/02/space-saving-idea-fold-out-pantries.html. I am not opposed to taking 6" off of the adjoining cabinet and adding 6" to be able to fit a 30" wall oven in that space (as an added bonus, it will make the pantry even bigger!).

1. One thing you have not been able to see in these plans is that the ceilings are vaulted in the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Although, you can kinda tell in the pictures from Sun, Oct 4, 09 at 19:46 showing the difference of full height vs half pantry. How high should I go with the uppers ? "To the ceiling" is not an option when it is 13 feet ! LOL. The way it is currently drawn is 42" uppers.

2. Any thoughts on what to do with trash ? I am thinking a pullout under one side of the main sink and possibly a small trash can under the prep sink.

3. I have now shortened the peninsula an additional 2" giving a total of 44". I would love to hear from people who have a single door fridge facing a counter/cabinet edge ... what is the width of your fridge, what clearance do you have, and how do you feel about it ?

4. Barb, how do you like your Maytag Gemini double oven setup ? Do you also have another separate oven or do you find this does what you need ?

5. hsw, what is a double oven/microwave combo ? Is that 2 ovens and also a microwave above them ? Where in NC ?

6. Thoughts on gas grill vs charcoal ? We are leaning towards charcoal grill (but a nice big built in one) ... because ... there is no natural gas on the island and if it was propane grill, would we be responsible for providing renters with propane tanks and what if renters ran out of gas during the week ? Thoughts on that ?

7. hsw and holligator, we will put some more thought into giving up the sunroom in lieu of a larger kitchen. I showed DH the pic when you first posted it but need to get together with him to explore that idea in more detail. We have always leaned towards having the sunroom as a space people could get away or visit with a few people instead of being in the main living area. For example, maybe the men are all watching football in the LR, the ladies could be in the sunroom, and the kids would be playing video games in the office. I know a lot of people have said this is a small kitchen, but until I was told that, I thought it was pretty big ! Huge compared to our kitchen at home and also it is bigger than all of the kitchens in beach homes we have stayed at. Last year we stayed at a 7BR home that is over 4,000sf that had a kitchen smaller than this one. (they could have used some TKO GW help! It wasn't laid out very well either, but it did have a huge walk in pantry, lol. This was the home I mentioned earlier that had the fridge too close to the counter. here and exterior)

8. mom2lilenj, Thanks for the thoughts on the sand in the hot tub. We will definitely do some research on that. I have added large griddle and electric griddle to the list of kitchen stuff.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 12:17PM
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    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 6:01PM
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Angela, Your DH's reasonable reasons for wanting the wetbar inside the kitchen are the exact reasons I wanted to get it out! I understand his reasoning. I really think it's going to lead to some traffic jams, but that's just something to cope with. Smart tenants will appoint a bartender during meal prep time and have him/her doing beverage service across the peninsula, I think, to keep the traffic in and out of the kitchen under control. Or maybe you could provide a couple extra trays and an ice bucket, so that a harried mom can set out sodas, cups and ice on the coffee table on an ad hoc basis.

I have about the same distance in my new kitchen between the fridge and the island as you have. My old one had a little more room. I think you could even do with the original 42". The entrance to the kitchen is a bottleneck. It just is. I think the peninsula is very useful, including as a block to too many people just walking in when they're not welcome, as a buffet, and as a serve across counter. Any time the fridge doors open, especially since tenants aren't going to always remember where they put what, so will be opening both at once, there's just not going to be walking space. The peninsula gives good landing space for someone standing in the middle of the two open fridges. And anyone who wants to get by can just wait!

That's the range with the two ovens, right? And a large wall oven plus MW? That sounds like a fantastic way to have adequate oven space. I actually saw something this week that said that the larger oven was really a full sized oven, and the smaller one took the place of a utility or warming drawer with a similar depth. If so, you might be able to squeek by with just the range, though the additional wall oven is that much better for feeding mobs. That's the turkey, and potatoes, in the big oven and carrot souffle and stuffing in the smaller one, and the vegetarian lasagna or ham in the wall oven. Baby squash in the microwave, soup, green beans and gravy on the cooktop. Voila! It's Thanksgiving!

This dishwasher arrangement looks very doable. The two aren't grossly far apart, and both are close enough to point of use and storage. Especially since, with the alternate cleanup area in the bar, whoever is loading the one DW can ask the other cleaner-upper if there's room for another baking sheet in the other machine, and then just reach it across.

Just visually, I don't like the open shelves where you show them. I don't know if that's just a place holder or what. I think they chop up the space, and it would look more unified with all cabinets, especially since you have glass over the sink (a very good thing that). If you really want to maximize space you can put some very shallow shelves on the bumped out wall where the art is. It's a little in the way of the sink, but you could put glass (or acrylic) shelves, maybe with a little lip in front for safety, for barware or mugs, one glass deep. Maybe 4". If you want art there, you could do a mural on the wall and hang the shelves over it, and fill with clear glasses.

Do check the measures on the powder room and master bath. I think you've been very clever! But both spaces look tight. Tight is okay on a party house, so long as there's enough room for someone with crutches or a walker to use one or the other, or someone of generous proportions to turn around.

Re the grill, is there someplace in the town that rents propane grills? I think a lot of people would rather use gas, but totally hear you on the maintenance issues. If there was someone who would deliver and pick up a rental, then you could advertise the built-in charcoal grills and mention that the others are available.

Re the cathedral ceilings, I have seen beautiful cabinetry up to the ceiling, but it doesn't come in a box from a factory, and does require a ladder. Probably not what you're looking for. :-)

Gotta say, that powder room makes a huge difference!!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 9:19PM
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Do you need the bump out on the right side to the north of the DW on the plan.? It really makes that peak look unpleasantly lopsided.

I am not trying to be harsh, just brief :)

The addition of the powder room is great.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 9:40PM
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Yes, range with 2 ovens is first choice. Or either, range with built in warming drawer such as Samsung shown in 1st post.

The bump out is for head clearance coming up the stairs to the right of the kitchen. Since the bump out is 9", I had 10" deep open shelves there as transition to the 12" deep upper cabinets. HOWEVER, once again, you guys are helping me see outside the box I had put myself in (by suggesting that something could be put on that wall instead of art and by suggesting that the peak looked unpleasant). . .

I don't see any reason why the bottom cabinets couldn't be 15" deep with the bumpout behind them which would be 36" tall of extra head clearance for the stairs. Then there could be a standard depth counter over the bottom cabinets and the bumpout. The wall above the counter would continue to the ceiling not bumped out and would have upper cabinets on it. I would think they could just frame the bumpout part with a header like they would a door frame. It would take careful explaining to the framers so they would understand. But can you think of any reason it wouldn't work ? No one would know that the bottom cabinets are only 15" deep below the counter in that area until they open the doors. The peak is still off balance, but not as much.

Here are some pictures of the half wall bumpout. I'm not crazy about the look of 12 feet of straight upper cabinets. Although I do love the extra cabinet space !! How could I dress it up some ? Also, I am thinking the single cabinet to the left of the palladian window over the sink should be narrower. In the photo below, it is shown as 21" wide. I think 18" looks better, and 15" looks too narrow. 12" would give the same amount of spacing on each side of the window, but looks way way too narrow to me.

Yeh, I am thrilled with the half bath addition. That was one of the only things that we did not like about the elevator plans. The other 2 things we had to give up was ... one of the 2 bays of under house parking (which we are ok with because we will put a ping pong table and some other things under there now) ... and one bedroom on the lower floor will not have direct access to their bath (they will have to walk 4 feet past the elevator to get to their bathroom). I double-checked code & these baths are more spacious than code requires. Code is min 2'6" wide and min clearance in front of toilet 24", the door can swing into that clearance. Our half bath has 2'8" wide at toilet (3'8" at sink) and 34" clearance in front with round toilet or 37" with elongated toilet.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 3:48PM
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I agree Angela, try a narrower cabinet to left side of the window to balance the other side.

One other thing you could try is having the left bank of cabinets continue on their angled course to die into the wall next to the window.

Since the bumpout will continue all the way down, you may consider taking the wall cabinets all the way to the counter and burying the bumpout completely. (At that end I mean)

Or, what if instead of bumping out the wall there was some kind of opening into the stairwell to contribute to the headroom? Might be interesting, might be weird, but right now its just on paper. (or the computer). Not having a wall right there would contribute about 5" to it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 4:15PM
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So nice to see you back! That addition of the 1/2 bath is great!

I LOVE my Maytag Gemini. This Thanksgiving there will be a turkey in the full size oven, and mancotti in my "little" oven. My kitchen is not big, but I think the Gemini really adds to its efficiency.

Good luck with your beach house.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 4:41PM
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Here's an idea to dress it up. What do you think ? I'm not gonna post all of them on here, but you can see a slideshow of all the ones I came up with here in the photobucket album http://s774.photobucket.com/albums/yy23/angela12345678/BeachCottage/bumpout%20wall/. Everyone voted this one as their favorite at Thanksgiving . . .

# 05

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 9:56PM
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Angela, I like it! Not only does it break the horizontal line at the top, it makes more snese of the glass front on the end because it changes two things, rather than just one.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 10:54PM
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I sent the new plans to the builder almost a week ago. Eagerly waiting to see if he says I can do the bumpout with the long wall like that. I hope so, I made a list of what to put in the kitchen and have already filled all those cabinets now. I had a new idea this weekend about the fridge recessed area that I am going to send to him as well. Any more thoughts and ideas, critiques or opinions ?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:06AM
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Uh-oh, I hope this 3 pages of threads thing hasn't forced my thread off into never-never land. Odd because it is letting me add a post to it, but it didn't bump it back up. I was trying to keep all of my kitchen stuff in 1 thread rather than start a new thread for every little thing and bumping a lot of other threads off the end of the list.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:20AM
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    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Hi angela,

I finally caught up. Really nice, no doubt. And #05 is great.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 10:26PM
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For me, first time to see this thread. I have an old, small beach cottage which has held relatively large groups of 16, sleeping, maybe more. We do not rent it but several family members have keys and just call me to use the cottage. Birthdays, Sweet 16's,etc. I have not yet digested all the wonderful comments here. Yours is a deluxe place. People love beach houses for the view of the water, the boats, the activity. Food is way secondary.

1. Have at least 2 or 3 outside beach showers. (We have 1)
1a. Have 3 hot water heaters or whatever you need for multiple showers. Large intake pipes. Need good pressure.

2. Have most of the seating in the living room face the beach and, if you can, don't obstruct the view with deck chairs. Inside and out, ppl want to stare at the water, for a while, pick up their book, put it down. ABSOLUTELY do not have sofa backs face the water. Create separate seating areas.

3. Ditch the space gobbling fireplace or put it somewhere else but don't compete w/ the view. More seating. We have a fireplace but it's in the center, not the front.
4. Put the game cabinet in the corner of the dining room. Instead, more seating and very small game table. Ppl use the dining table for games, mostly.
5. Our next door neighbors used their cottage and everyone else's for a destination wedding for their daughter. Wedding at the local church, reception at the country club and a weekend of parties at houses surrounding theirs. Beach bonfire. Gatsby? The parties were catered mostly. Caterers can do wonders in not huge kitchens so don't think you have to replicate a catering kitchen. I don't know your area but weddings are quite infrequent.
5. Grilling. You need two grills for large gps. Tables. Infrequent oven use-hot summers and simple meals. We pick up stuff and guests, teens and older, want to try local restaurants. Simple breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, pasta, fruits. Difficult for little kids at crowded restaurants so all are happier w/ home food.
6. We have beds for 17 (7 twin beds, 2 sofabeds, 2 futons) and kids bring sleeping bags.
7. We hosted dd's after prom party and they just want to hang on the beach. 12 best frds and 3 moms.
8. My dil and her friends use the cottage and are way more into food, but they bring a lot of prepared stuff, in coolers during transit.
9. You will have a lot of high storage and I've found that ppl won't use stuff that's hard to get in a crowded k.
They make do with what's accesible. I use disposables but my family uses regular.

  1. How close are you to your neighbors? If you are on the beach, and the water sounds drown out neighbors, great. Our houses are close to each other and night time outdoor sounds can be something to think about.
    It does sound idyllic and has given us much. Six weeks ago we discovered that critters in the 2 foot tall crawl space chewed up the flexible heating ducts and the repairs were just completed 2 weeks ago. The old ceilings fell in a few years ago. Poison ivy got me twice. Last New y eve, dh and I had to escape quickly before the snowstorm made our high front steps a luge. It's all about the views! Enjoy. Hang loose.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 12:02AM
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I dont know if anyone mentioned this but the grills should be on the same level as the kitchen, not on a lower level. And on a deck accessible to the kitchen, for platters, food, utensils. Mitts? Grill scrapers?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 12:19AM
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Angela, I am sorry. I didn't read all the hard working posts but I just shot from the hip.
Just saw that grills on a deck are a no-no. Does everyone comply? We have rules on the books, such as no dogs on beach, but ppl ignore. We have gas, propane, and an extra, full, propane tank on the deck. Extra tank solves maintenance.

The grilling area, on the sand, is 3 levels away from the kitchen? As mentioned by ganggreen, bbtondo and others, need to think about this. SERIOUS! Grilling, as opposed to ovens and casseroles, is, imo, vital to beach living.

You will need at least 2 washers/dryers to wash all those sheets, towels, rugs between groups of renters. There is usually a 3-5 hour window between groups of renters. My cousins actually use sleeping bags on top of the sheets so they don't have to do a lot of laundry on Sundays, when they leave! I do have nice linens. DD and long haired friends would roll out of the shower with a towel on head, one on body, 2 or 3 x a day. Not to mention the beach towels. Eye roll from me to dh!

Definitely, yes, for the elevator. I'd love one. I think a 3 level house in a competetive rental market screams for an elevator, but would renters abuse it? Elevators-more property insurance?

Also, it would be important to check the property tax and assessing in your area. Here's what's going on in ours. When we bought the 1922 cottage in 2002, the prop taxes were $1300. Great. Around 2006, Indiana changed everything and our taxes are $6600 ann. No exemptions for second home owners. I met with the assessors and found that our town is assessed huge sums for every bath and fixture therein, each bedroom, age of property, every inch of concrete outside, beyond imagination.

Some people tear down but keep a portion of original house. People build bunk rooms for kids, rather than walled bedrooms. It's relatively cheap to build half baths but the taxes are awful. We have protested and received a reduction but not much. There is a town wide protest and many houses are actively on the market or would take an offer because of this tax situation.
One family's house, on the beach, large home, has prop taxes of $132,000. Google, "long beach homeowner bill wendt". Town is Long Beach. No matter how affluent, that's just obscene.
Find out how much additional tax the elevator would cost.

It sounds gorgeous. I don't mean to put a damper on your dream house but it's best to go into this armed with real life info. You wisely asked for comments, not only on the kitchen but other areas.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 4:40PM
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We are in the same dilemma. Design for the masses or one family. This is so difficult. I'll post our plans

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 6:37PM
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Westsider, Thanks for jumping in here !! Your place sounds great. I sure wish I was on your family list. ;)
I also appreciate all of your comments. You have given me a lot to think about. More below to you (and anyone else who wants to comment)...

I really appreciate everyone who is helping me with all of these ideas. Our builder said last week "That new layout looks good, sometimes it takes another set of eyes to see something, especially after you look at something for so long". That's what you guys are doing for me ... being my extra set of eyes and helping me think what is important to different groups of people.

Good news from the builder ... he said yes to the bumpout behind the lower cabinets over the stairs ! That makes design #05 (a few posts up) officially ok from the builder.

1. have 2 or 3 outside beach showers ... do you mean hot & cold showers or just cold for rinsing sand off from beach ? We have planned 1 cold on the walk over the dunes and 1 hot & cold enclosed shower.
2, 3, 4. do you have some ideas for layout in these areas ? Would love to see what you are thinking.
5. weddings are probably not too frequent
6. Grilling - this is an issue. We will not be able to control if people ignore with portable grill, but rules will not allow a built in grill or homeowner provided grill on the deck. We have plans for the ground floor grilling area to be a fun gathering place though with a tiki bar, picnic tables, pingpong and foosball, horseshoes, in addition to the grills. Two grills is great idea !! Good idea also to plan storage for grill tools and mitts near the grills.
9. Will review to make sure stuff stored on high shelves is rarely used stuff. Looking like some of the high shelves will even be empty. Who knows - once it is unpacked, stuff has a way of filling the available space. LOL !!

  1. Lot is 50 x 150 ocean front. With 7 foot setbacks for each side of lot, neighbor houses are 14 feet away from each other.
  2. two washers & dryers - yep !
  3. elevators - will ask about property insurance - a neighbor has an automatic gate operator (which cost a lot extra) and had problems with renters messing up his door and lots of service calls, so he eventually disconnected his auto opener. We know now to not spend extra for the auto opener.
  4. your property taxes are outrageous !! Luckily, we are on flat rate here ... approx 1% of home value.

lakehouse, leaving now to go meet a friend for movie, but will check out your plans later. Looks like you are remodeling kitchen for a lakehouse you already own ?

Thanks !! Keep the comments coming on all areas of the home !

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 6:36PM
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Bad news . . . I talked with the inspections department the beginning of January and found out it will be middle of February before we are able to get our building permit. That puts us at needing to complete within 3.5 months or risk losing some or all weeks of summer rentals. We really do not want to be in a stressful building situation like that, and do not want to have to carry the mortgage through the whole of next winter with only a partial summer's worth of rentals, so we have decided to push it back. : (

The good side of this is that we get at least 6 more months to get everything all picked out and be completely ready to go when we start building approx October or November. Then we'll have 6 months to build, and a full month to ourselves before rentals start in June. That gives all my TKO friends SIX MORE MONTHS to suggest changes to the plans. Wheeeeee !!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 3:17PM
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Angela, thanks for the update!

Advice: Have your tile on site before you start. Buy it now. Really. Well, at least a few months before you break ground. Even American factory made tile. Because of the inventory tax situation they don't always have stock, and just in time delivery for tile isn't ever really in time. (Voice of experience here). Also, order a goodly 10% more than you need, and for individual pieces, if you need one, get two, if you need three, get four.

Sorry you won't be able to get it done this year, but, as you say, it gives you plenty more planning time. :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 3:37PM
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hi hopefully u r well on the way to achieving reality. Scanned thru most of this thread. It sounds exciting
A couple of comments on the kitchen area.
-- is any of the area under the stairs recapturable for storage or pantry use? i have seen some clever ones.
-- if it were at all feasible a WALK in pantry is super super nice and the easiest to use espec when you have people unfamiliar with a space...for ex: you can decide to have all food stuffs in kitchen cabs, and most serving and eating ware and large pans etc in the pantry. Makes maintenance etc easy. Or vice versa. or designate one half for each. Then only spices and some important staples stay in cabs
-- we've been in rentals where a nice snapshot of the contents, shelf by shelf, is posted on each cab door so that it is easy to put stuff back in reasonable order. Has been great when 10 or 20 of us gather and you have different crews lending a hand to get clean up done or a meal out.
-- pull out big drawers INSTEAD of double door lower cabinets are easier for spotting contents and access..unless you are putting pull outs behind those double doors.
-- a few feet here and there of open shelving can be good, espec for visitors. For ex They can readily see the coffee tea flour sugar canisters and common kitchen tools can be on a rail or in grab it bins. It isnt as pristine a look but placed strategically away from most lines of sight, can be appreciated for functionality
--- more burners is nice to have...or two separately sited cooktops. Helpful if pancakes or stuff like that are in progress and multiple flap jack flippers are helping
--- have u considered appliance garages and stash some things at counter level in those (Blender, hand mixer, immersion blender). Otherwise some items get chipped pr damaged or shoved into back corners, or worse, separated from their accessories. Problem exists even with large drawers (people just throw stuff in)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:37PM
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Hi bicoastal, Thanks for your comments. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I did not realize I had missed a posting. I have been cheating on you guys with a gardenweb gardening forum ... http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/sqfoot/

I would definitely welcome your ideas on how to achieve some of your suggestions as where you would put open shelving, appliance garage, extra cooktop, etc. My pantry area got smaller & smaller with other people's suggestions (and I had to fight to keep what I have, LOL). The stairs idea is great, however, as it is designed right now, there are stairs over stairs, so no unused space available there. In fact, part of the head room over the stairs is a bumpout into the kitchen behind shallow lower cabinets that only look full depth. (See post from Sun, Nov 22, 09 at 15:48 and the before picture from Fri, Nov 20, 09 at 18:01)

I love, love, LOVE the idea of a snapshot of the contents posted on the inside of the cabinet door. I am adding that to my list of things to do right now. And thank you for the reminder of the drawers. I double checked my plans and realized I had not changed to drawers on the cabinet between the stove & oven/micro stack.

Here are some most recent pics ...

Hood was changed to wood at my husband's request. Molding at top of cabinets doesn't show in these 1st two pictures ...

The only pantry space I was left with is the 24" deep cabinet over the built in oven/micro.

Under the counter to left of DW is faked to look full depth but it is not - Lower cabinet is only 15" deep. Behind that is a bumpout for head clearance open to the stairs side with a built in decorative shelf high enough up to still give head clearance. Above the counter it is just like a regular kitchen would be.

Here is the total floor plan of the top floor ...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 6:01PM
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One thing I would really appreciate in a rental is glass doors on all upper cabinets. We seem to spend the entire time opening cabinets to find things, especially when there are many cooks and helpers in an unfamiliar place. By the time I know where everything is, it's time to leave.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 2:30AM
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Last chance for any comments/opinions/suggestions ... goes to architect in just a few weeks ! ! ! Latest pictures of the top floor posted one post above. Middle floor has 5 bedrooms, 4.25 baths, laundry, coffee bar. Ground floor is parking under the house (on stilts), storage, shower, tiki bar, grill, picnic tables, and games.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:30AM
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